March 2022

Amid the current crisis, USRF grantees and partners have reported urgent, immediate needs and opportunities to support embattled Russian civil society both within and outside Russia. To respond to these needs, USRF will seek to provide maximum flexibility to current grantees, and additional resources to those facing crises and opportunities.

USRF will therefore implement an emergency grant revision and grantmaking program in the following areas:

  • Maximum flexibility in support for current grantees and partners whose Russian program participants are under threat of arrest, attack or other repression and require physical relocation, protection and other services.
  • Support for Russian independent media, film producers and experts in Russia and abroad with the capability to reach the Russian public and help them understand the reality of the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine, international isolation and domestic repression, especially its implications for economic opportunity and human development for ordinary Russian people.
  • Support for Russian organizations within and outside Russia to defend freedoms of expression and information, property rights, and Russia’s international legal obligations, such as in the ECHR and UN bodies.
  • Support for Russians who are forced to leave their home country and need to continue education, research and entrepreneurial activities in the U.S. and other countries consistent with the mission of USRF.

USRF will respond as quickly and flexibly as possible to the needs of grantees and partners and will therefore expedite and streamline procedures consistent with legal requirements.

Emergency modification of existing grants: This pertains to grantees no longer able to fulfill the terms of their original, approved grant agreements, or recommending revision of those terms to meet urgent, immediate needs and/or opportunities related to the above areas.

Grantees wishing to take this course of action will be required to detail which parts of their existing grant agreement they would like to amend and how the Foundation can assist in reprogramming funds. The grantee will need to explain the new proposed activity and any changes in the budgeted costs.

Process: Grantee submits an Emergency Grant Revision Request to the grants@usrf.us email.

Timeline: The proposed grant revision will be reviewed and evaluated by USRF staff and submitted for decision to the USRF Board in expedited order. If/when approved, a revised grant agreement will be drafted and signed, and funds disbursed as soon as possible thereafter.

Emergency new/additional grant requests: This pertains to requests from current or new grantees for expedited review of new or additional funding requests related to the current crisis and in the areas above. Available only in cases of demonstrated urgent, immediate need, applicants will receive an expedited response.

Process: Grantees may be invited to submit proposals or may submit unsolicited proposals reflecting urgent, immediate needs/opportunities in the areas above. Grantees may be new or may have a track record of past work with the Foundation. Grantees should submit a USRF proposal packet of a) the Project Narrative, b) Proposed Budget, and c) Budget Narrative by email to grants@usrf.us.

Timeline: Grant proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by USRF staff and submitted for decision to the USRF Board in expedited order. If/when approved, a new grant agreement will be drafted and signed, and funds disbursed as soon as possible thereafter.

All other grant proposals: Any other new or renewal grant proposals, including those which propose activities responding to, or taking into account, the current crisis situation in Ukraine and Russia, may still be considered under the normal grants review process. To submit a grant proposal for the June USRF Board meeting cycle, please follow the procedures described here.

If you have any questions about any of the procedures above, please reach out to us at grants@usrf.us